How To Install Windows On Steam Deck

The Steam Deck has had a generous reception since Valve released it in February 2022. Portable devices have had mixed reviews over the years, bar the Nintendo Switch, which has been an unmitigated success. There have been some concerns regarding the Steam Decks’ battery life, but it’s been a success on the whole so far.

The Steam Deck’s target audience is PC gamers  – to provide PC gamers with the option of gaming when they’re away from home. PC gamers often have to deal with more limitations than console gamers, and the Steam Deck was built to change that. Carrying a PC around for the sake of playing video games is simply not feasible, but that’s no longer an issue because of the Steam Deck accessories.

Gamers don’t just get to access all the games from the Steam library, but can also run games from Linux-based OS with the Steam Deck. Last spring, the device released an update that allows gamers to install Windows 10 or 11 on the device. The intention was to breed familiarity, of course.

However, readers must know that installing Windows will mean the device’s SSD will have to be wiped off. Wiping the device’s SSD must not be taken lightly. It’s best to wait for an update that doesn’t allow this, but for healthy gamers who want to install Windows right now and live with the risks, here’s a guide.


@ Valve

Installing Windows on Steam Deck

Readers need the following items and programs before installing Windows on the Steam Deck: A Windows PC, 32GB USH micro-SD, 32GB USB drive, and SD Card reader. You will also have to download Windows OS files and Rufus, the USB Boot program.

Once this is done, follow these steps to install Windows on the Steam Deck:

  1. Download the Windows Creation tool.
  2. Open it.
  3. Click on ‘Create Installation’, and spot the Windows 10 ISO file.
  4. Download the Windows drivers files and store them in a USB device.
  5. Plug in the micro-SD reader and open Rufus, the USB Boot program.
  6. Select ‘Device’.
  7. Take a look at the Windows ISO and click ‘Select’.
  8. Check if Windows.iso is visible under Boot Selection.
  9. Look up the Image Option dropdown and select ‘Windows To Go’ just under it.
  10. Spot Partition Scheme and select ‘MBR’.
  11. Go to ‘Format’ and select ‘NTFS’.
  12. Hit ‘Ready’.
  13. Power down the device.
  14. Plug the micro-SD card into the SD slot on the bottom of the Steam Deck.
  15. Click and hold onto the Power and Volume Down buttons to enter the Steam Deck’s boot menu.

These instructions aren’t that difficult to follow if the device is with you. As long as all the programs and items are ready before you decide to install Windows, you should be fine.

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